Understanding childhood development in the context of donor conception – the teenage years

Wednesday 26th July 2023 – 8pm (BST)

Dr Avital Pearlman has spent her career supporting children, families, individuals and couples throughout their fertility journey and beyond. In her work with children and adolescents, she has often worked with children who are donor conceived, adopted or are no longer in contact with a biological parent.

Throughout 2023, Avital joins me for a series of webinars as we consider the development of identity throughout the different stages of childhood, being mindful of all the factors that contribute to a sense of self and what we as parents can be aware of as we parent our donor conceived children.

For our final session of this series we explore the age that I know I hold the most fears about – the teenage years. A time where hormones are dominant, identity formation is more at the forefront and we might expect to hear the words “you’re not my real mum/dad/parent” thrown at us at some point, a fear that I’ve heard many times that can be much more prominent for parents who don’t share a genetic link. So what is happening to their development during these years? How might this play out? And what can we do as parents to maintain that safe space and to really understand the developmental phases at this time in their lives?

 

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Speaker Bio

Dr Avital Pearlman

Avital has spent her career supporting children, families and individuals and couples throughout their fertility journey and beyond. Avital has worked across CAMHS, Paediatric and peri-natal settings. In her work with children and adolescents, Avital has often worked with children who are donor conceived, adopted or are no longer in contact with a biological parent. Within this context Avital considers the development of identity throughout the different stages of childhood and is mindful of all the factors that contribute to a sense of self.

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